Gratitude Can Help You Find Peace

Thanksgiving is upon us and the holiday season is soon to be in the air (if it isn’t already). The first draft of this article, my wife and I were in Colorado to attend a childhood friend’s wedding. I spent several days hiking the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes with my wife, sometimes with friends too, and sometimes alone. Each time I was amazed by the scenery and more amazed by the peace I felt as I hiked up and down and across. I have heard the saying “Find your peace” and although I feel like I am a reasonably peaceful person, I cannot say that I have found it here or there. Well, now that I am home in Miami and finishing this article up at my desk, I am happy to say, I have found it. My wish for you, my prayer for you, is for you to “Find your peace” this holiday season.

We live in a building, on the fourth floor. Since COVID, I have almost exclusively used the stairs. I almost always go down the stairs, but I have made it a habit now to enter and climb those four flights, those 110 steps from my car to my door, including the 50 or so steps to climb up. Recently, on Friday and Saturday night I came home after midnight. I was serving on a retreat team and my duties required me to work from 7am until about 12:30am (just after midnight). It is tiring work and coming home that late, all I wanted was a shower and a bed. As I climbed those stairs I found my peace again, each night. Do you know where my peace was hanging out?

Gratitude. No, not the Beastie Boys song (which I love the Beasties), but in the feeling, the emotion, the peace. I was grateful for each step. Because each step led me one step closer to my wife, to where my children were, to inside my home. Not the place where we live, but the place of love my wife and I have created with the help of our three children.

You see, or maybe I should pray for you to see, these feelings, all of them, the good and the bad, they are a choice. The only thing you are in control of in this world is the way in which you respond to things. If your heart is set in gratitude for life, for your life, for the life you created and the path you are walking, then gratitude and joy is what you will feel. I pray you choose to see what your can be grateful and thankful for. I pray you “Find your peace!”

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